This week at Casey we have seen our first operational sea ice travel, for Australian Antarctic Science Project 5503 “Observatory of East Antarctic near-surface atmosphere and cryosphere” or as we call it sea ice drilling. Five people were selected to venture onto the sea ice, drilling holes at specific GPS locations to record the data so it can be sent back to Australia for analysis. Hopefully, this process will be repeated weekly depending on weather, after all it’s the Antarctic.
That’s right - a bunch of tradies keeping the science of the Antarctic going, along with all other maintenance tasks around station - there’s never a dull moment.
The average depth of ice was between 700-900mm with the thinnest found being 600mm with snow cover varying from 50mm to 200mm. With the weather having been quite nice with little snow over the last few days meant we could easily see the fresh cracks in the sea ice which seemed to go on for ever. Seeing the cracks from landmass to landmass and realising we were riding quads on giant floating pieces of ice with stunning back drops from the short appearance of the sun seemed unreal.
Nathan Grace, Diesel Mechanic